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MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript

Interview

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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REP. KAREN BASS (D), CALIFORNIA: Thank you.

SCHULTZ: What do you think of the latest news NBC News is hearing from a GOP aide that Republicans have a new stop-gap measure to keep the country running? What do you make of that?

BASS: Well, first of all, I heard what you did but I have some additional information. I heard that it"s a stop-gap measure for one week, but they"re going to put enough money in to fund the Defense Department for the rest of the year. So, we will fund the Defense Department, but we"re going to cut everything else, or we"re only going to have the measure in place for one week. I think it"s pretty crazy. It sounds like a caucus in disarray.

SCHULTZ: So, Senator Schumer apparently is calling the bluff of Speaker Boehner over on the House side. In your opinion, this puts Boehner kind of in a tight spot with the Tea Party, doesn"t it?

BASS: Well I think it absolutely does. As you know, I am a part of the freshman class and 87 of my colleagues are Republicans and more than half of them are members of the Tea Party and you know they"ve come under tremendous pressure. You"ve certainly covered it.

And so, the question is: will the Republican leadership act in a responsible manner and fund the government until the end of the year? That is the appropriate thing to do. We have many pressing issues to deal with. We should stop this silliness frankly.

SCHULTZ: What do you make of the $33 billion? Boehner is saying out there today that $33 billion is not enough.

There"s a lot of Democrats across the country that are saying why did you agree to $33 billion in the first place? But if that--I don"t know where you stand on that. But if that is the number, what do you make of Boehner"s position?

BASS: Well, I think that it"s ridiculous. What has happened, and I know you know, that a number of the Republicans agreed, made a campaign promise to hold on to that number of $100 billion in cuts that they were going to have. So, $33 billion I think what they really want is more like $71 billion. It"s really ridiculous because it"s a number that"s not based on anything.

And the top economic experts, including John McCain"s adviser, says that if we actually did what the Republicans were calling for, we--you know, the economy is recovering. We would slide completely back. And it might even amount to 700,000 jobs that are lost. So, it"s a crazy thing to do right now.

SCHULTZ: What does this signal to the American people when Cantor comes out and says there won"t be any more stop-gap spending? Yet you tell us tonight that the military spending is going to go to the end of the year.

BASS: Right.

SCHULTZ: And they"re going to come up with more funds to run the government for a little bit longer.

BASS: Well, I think it says that there is a conflict but I am certainly hoping that in the next 24-48 hours, that they will come to their senses, that they will have a deal that will take funding of the government until the end of the fiscal year, because as you know, Ed, we still have the overall budget to deal with--plus we have to make a decision about raising the debt ceiling. So, we have three different levels that we need to be concerned about, and for us to be spending time or wasting time on this point alone, I think is really shameful.

SCHULTZ: And why aren"t the Democrats, and maybe you think they are, out there making the point that these cuts are about the worst thing you can do in a fragile economy in an economic recovery?

BASS: Well, I actually think--and thanks to you and your show--I do think that the Democrats have been doing that al over the place. Let me just give you a couple examples. You know, Ryan is going to come--is going to call tomorrow for recalling the tax code, but yet they want to cut the IRS. I mean, their cuts would result in compromising the safety of our water and our air. You"re talking about tens of thousands of teachers and firefighters that are laid off.

They create such disdain for the public workforce, but what they don"t tell the public is you"re talking about firefighters and teachers. And so, I think Democrats have been all over the place on all different levels of the media, social media, TV, radio, talking about the cuts because we really need to paint a picture for America of the type of American that the Republicans want. Not the country I want to live in.

SCHULTZ: You bet. Congresswoman Karen Bass--good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.

BASS: Thanks for having me.

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